It wasn’t until three days later that Sha'durl realized his mistake. He froze, stark terror immobilizing him in place. He couldn’t breathe. He finally understood the look the Shadow Lord had given him. The Shadow Lord knew he had turned long before he had come to him with his plans. What had he done? Fear crawled into his stomach as he broke into a dead run climbing the stairs to the Shadow Lord’s rooms. He burst through with his sword drawn and the Shadow Lord turned slowly to face him.
“Did you think you could fool a God?” The Shadow Lord said in a deadly calm voice. A voice that held so much power that he finally comprehended why the goodly races had not waged an all-out attack against the Black Tower.
“What have you done?” Sha'durl asked.
“Do not speak to me!” The Shadow Lord yelled. “I knew long before you approached me with your plan. I knew you had turned from the shadow the instant the thought entered your mind!” The Shadow Lord said through gritted teeth. He waved his hand and Sha'durl’s tunic exploded from his body and his limbs were suddenly frozen as he was lifted from the ground and rotated slowly exposing his back even as he floated towards the Shadow Lord. He was dead, he knew it.
“Nine rings! Nine!” The Shadow Lord screamed and flung him against the far wall so hard bones cracked. Sha'durl slowly worked himself into a sitting position, his back against the wall as he waited for death.
“I am not going to kill you. You are going to live forever knowing you are to blame for the eradication of the Elven race. My troops have been moving into position ever since you told me of your ridiculous plan to win favor with the Elven heathens!” The Shadow Lord hissed. “We are positioned to crush the Elves once and for all. I have moved my Crynos to each of the Elven strongholds slowly and undetected. They have thousands upon thousands of Thirks and Rygons with them. We will slaughter all of them!” And then the Shadow Lord just vanished.
Sha'durl closed his eyes and gritted his teeth through the pain. After what seemed like an eternity, he struggled to his feet and took one painful step after another out of the Black Tower. He walked day and night until he fell over from exhaustion. He stopped only to hunt and sleep. He repeated that until at last the Serene Forest came into view, but he knew in his heart he would never make in time, and even if he did, what could he do against the Shadow Lord? He was just one man.
Sha'durl made his way toward the Elven city but he had been smelling smoke for some time. Pure terror coursed through his body and he steeled himself for what his eyes were about to see. As he ascended to the tops of the Elven Tree, screams immediately filled his ears. There were so many Thirks killing Elves....everywhere he looked Elves were falling, holding wounds that would not heal. The elderly....the children...oh the screams of the children would haunt his nightmares for eternity. This peaceful, but fierce race was not prepared for this attack. He had betrayed them to the Shadow Lord. It was all his fault. He forgot about his injuries as rage took over his mind. He drew his sword and glided through the ranks of Thirks and Rygons leaving death in his wake. The noises of the battle slowly died down around him. Pain rushed back into his body as the battle rage wore off and he stumbled to his knees looking around dully.
Lady Caela had done everything in her power to stay out Sha’durl’s way. He was the angel of death come to life in front of her eyes and he was a perfect killing machine. When he had run out of things to kill, she watched him sag to his knees and only then did she rush to him.
“Sha’durl!” She cried to him. “It’s Lady Theandrin!” Sha'durl leapt to his feet and followed Lady Caela without question. Every step nearly floored him from the pain, but he pushed it aside and ran on. He skidded to a halt when he rounded the corner and saw his wife lying on the ground barely breathing holding their two dead children in her arms and crying uncontrollably. The piercing cry that escaped Sha’durl’s lips was one of such despair that it is said it still haunts the Serene Forest to this day. He rushed to his wife’s side and pulled her and his children to his chest crying and shaking with crushing sadness. He had done this. Oh dear Creator, this was his fault.....he had killed his own family.
“No, no, no, no, no...please don’t leave me...please.” He whispered in his wife’s ear. Her eyes fluttered open and he cringed when he saw that her eyes were all white.
“My husband.” Theandrin said weakly blood streaming from her eyes and ears. “You mustn’t blame yourself for this. You are a good man, you are a good husband, and you are a good father.” He cried even harder into her hair and couldn’t find any words to say though he couldn’t have spoken them anyway through the lump in his throat.
“My Sha’durl.” She said again trying to force his eyes on hers.
“Avenge us my beloved. Become the Shadow once again. Become the Deathstalker. There are only a few Elves left. I can feel my brothers and sisters dying all across the Realms. Become the nightmare you once were and destroy those that did this. Do not cringe at the name Shadow, wear it with honor knowing that your name will live throughout history and will make our enemies tremble.” She coughed up blood and Sha'durl, no, Shadow, wiped her mouth with his hands as gently as he could.
“Let me walk into the woods one last time my love.” She told him. Shadow knew that this meant she wanted to die inside the loving embrace of her beloved forest not high above it as she was now.
“I will bury our children with honor my love. Go, protect them in the next life and I will meet you there when I have cleansed Maluvrian of the evil. Go in peace my angel. Thank you for believing in me. Thank you for saving me from the darkness. My heart is yours and only yours.”
He picked her up and carried her through the portal and set her gently on the forest floor. He stood there for a very, very long time. As she vanished into the forest, the world he had come to love burned and tumbled down around him. A gentle hand rested on his shoulder and he noticed Lady Caela had brought his children to him. He gathered them up in his arms and carried them silently to their final resting place under their mother's favorite tree near the stream. Keeping his promise to his wife, he buried their children while his heart shattered.
He lay between the graves and wept until exhaustion overcame his grief. He slept there with one hand on each one of his children.
Copyright 2000 - 2019
Stay tuned for more exciting news regarding the Realms of Maluvrian book series. These books are will be in the fantasy books genre.
Nedyac (Ned) grabbed the scanner and they moved deeper into the dark caves. They moved swiftly and quietly deeper into the darkness until they came to a large opening. In the large cavern, there was a small bridge across a moat of lava. The heat coming off the lava was almost unbearable but their special training kicked in and they blocked out the uncomfortable surroundings and focused on the mission. They had to find the sapphire or all hope was lost for the five planets that relied on it for protection. Out of nowhere a deep voice rang through the cave, “HOW DARE YOU ENTER MY LAIR!” They drew their tranquilizer guns at the same time and then four things happened in less than 2 seconds. First, Ned dove for the nearest alcove. Second, he enacted the nightvision magic in his hoodie. Third, Nermac (Mac) switched on the magic in his white, knuckled gloves and two grappling hooks shot up and lifted his body towards the ceiling of the cave and silently out of sight. Lastly, Mac shot a micro bomb out of his boot towards the booming voice. In less than two seconds, the special agent brothers had disappeared. There was a reason the Galactic Alliance had sent their best agents to this planet. They had been born into the secret agent life and had been training even before they could walk. In seconds, they were in positions that were the most advantageous for them should they need to defeat the large beast.